Wow, it is hard to believe that it is already halfway through week 8! Even thought this is our staffs’ eight week with campers, you probably wouldn’t notice it based on all the enthusiasm and creativity all around. It is amazing how we still find new things to do, even after eight weeks (and 90 years!). Sunday night was a new night activity(reverse scavenger hunt), and tonight will see a new Lord of the Rings night. Of course, for many of our campers everything they do is new! That is really what camp is all about: trying new things and making new friends. It’s always great to see that although many campers come with a buddy, most are more than happy to quickly make new friends.
There are still many old traditions here thought. This morning was our weekly lake swim, and yesterday was of course tie-dye Tuesday! Perhaps one of the most traditional things we do here is our friendship circle. Each night we take a few moments to reflect on the day and listen to important announcements about the next day as a group. It’s hard to determine how long we have been doing these friendship circles, but it seems like camp isn’t the same without it. This sentiment also rings true with our motto: The Other Fellow First. This motto, passed along since the time of our first Director (Walter J. MacMillan)really embodies what camp is all about: making sure the needs of others are met and just being a great person with outstanding character.
Campers enjoy a steam in our sauna
Running into the lake is a great way to get refreshed
Campers work on their teamwork and try to stand up
Wow it is hard to believe that this summer is flying by so fast. It certainly helps that there is always something new and exciting going on here at camp. Even if there is not something totally new going on here, our staff certainly finds ways to put new twists on old activities. This was evident last night during our game of “Deliver the Flag.” Campers had to actually deliver flags to the other team, instead of capturing them as in a normal game. This was just the end of the day yesterday, as Kelsa had organized a whole backwards day. We lowered the flag in the morning, switched our area directors around, and even sang some songs with some odd twists.
Of course, camp is all about doing things in new ways. Sometimes it having a backwards day, sometimes its just learning to sail for the first time. There is always something new to be tried, and new ways to try them. We hope this is something campers come to camp to do, and we feel it is an important part of building their character. In fact, we feel so strongly in our character building mission that we have even started to highlight different character traits each morning. At the end of breakfast, one of our older cabins comes up and usually does a small skit showing of a character trait. These traits are all things we want to teach at camp, such as trustworthiness, perseverance. responsibility, sportsmanship, and many more.
Campers play the time honored game of kickball
Our nature director Christina shows off our African Bull Frog
Campers answer trivia questions to keep their counselors from having to “walk the plank”
You read that correct- the Olympics just happened here at Camp Daggett (no need to wait a whole year)! All afternoon and evening our campers competed in some uniquely camp events. These included sink a canoe, a water balloon toss, and even a super relay complete with a potato sack race. Although our campers come from all over the US, we had four countries represented at our olympics: New Zealand, Kyrgyzstan, Germany, and Jamaica. Although campers were competing, teamwork and sportsmanship were stressed throughout the day. In the end, Germany won the big show, but all of our campers competed valiantly, and each country even gave out their own sportsmanship and leadership awards.
Also this week we have one of our fantastic wilderness trips out. This week, our group of 8 brave campers is on a hike in the Porcupine mountains in the far Western Upper Peninsula. While exploring nature, our hikers will learn many valuable backpacking and outdoor skills. More importantly, they will learn about themselves and how to work within a group. Campers on these trips develop amazing confidence and leadership skills, and always return with many stories and memories to share.
We have been so luckily this week with respect to the weather. Plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures, and even some wind for our sailing area. Today is no different, which is nice since Friday’s are always so fun when it is nice out. From beach and dock parties, to our cookout, and our special event tonight, campers always leave with so many memories and stories from a Friday at Camp Daggett.
Campers race to sink their canoes during our Olympics
And what a wacky week it’s been! Almost non-stop here at Camp there is something crazy going on! Sunday night was a hoot as campers walked all around camp trying to find letters for our giant game of Bananagrams. Campers worked together to create giant crosswords of different words, with double points for anything camp related. Monday was equally as exciting, as campers got their first taste of some of the many different areas that camp has to offer. From learning nautical “Gnomenclautre” to having a sponge war in canoeing, we certainly have a unique way of doing things here at Camp Daggett. A big highlight of many campers’ day on Monday (and Tuesday as well) was getting to play some water games up on our recreation field. Given some very warm weather, our rec staff felt it was best to forgo the standard Capture the Flag an Gaga ball for a little bit, and break out the sprinklers, sponges, and hose for some refreshing fun.
Monday night was a blast, as campers got to not only walk around all of camp and it’s trails finding hidden staff members, but they also got to show us some of their creative sides. As campers went around looking for our “zoo animals,” our staff helped them to create a little story that they presented in the form of a skit at the end of the evening. Tuesday night saw a “Night at the Ballpark” with campers playing in a mini kickball tournament, as well as enjoying some ballpark inspired activities like pom-pom making, fly ball catching, and even eating some popcorn.
Word has it, campers are going to get their acceptance letters to Hogwarts soon to begin our Harry Potter night.
campers learn to tip, and right, their canoes
A hot day called for some sprinklers
Campers have certainly been enjoying free water this week
of course, the National Anthem has to be sung to begin our Night at the Ballpark
Well it’s Friday here at Camp Daggett and that can mean only one thing: PARTY! One cannot go anywhere in camp without hearing what can sometimes be described as “organized madness.” Campers certainly get a kick from playing Nuke ‘Em, building sand castles, and all of the other fun things going on right now. We are lucky also to have such a fantastic day for our last day of this session. It wouldn’t be surprising if not a single camper is sitting around the fire circle during free water. It is always rewarding to see campers challenging themselves and going out and trying new things and making new friends.
The rest of this week has also been quite amazing. We had a HUGE turnout for our lake swim, with other 30 campers being able to swim across the lake. Of course, these campers are accompanied by 4 power boats, staff swimmers, and yak boarders so that they are always 100% safe. Best of all, those who do the lake swim get hot cocoa and doughnuts at breakfast :). There was also an early morning triathlon early in the morning this week, to augment the normal early morning activities of polar bear and early morning rec. A new activity this year has been yoga. During the occasional free time and free land, Caroline (one of our counselors) has stepped up and volunteered to teach campers some basic yoga skills. It is crazy to see the turnout, both males and females, that she has gotten. We have always said that we have the best staff, and seeing Caroline (and all of our staff) step up and take extra initiative to make sure campers have the most unique experiences of their lives.
The avengers prepare for Marvel Night
Campers brainstorm the best way to get through Spiderman’s web
An early morning swim across the lake
“Rex Kwan Doe” teaches the basics of Kwan doe during Napoleon Dynamite night
Happy Tuesday! Week 5 here is already in full swing. Whether this is your campers’ first time at Camp Daggett, or this is their eighth and final year as a camper, they will undoubtedly find something new and exciting to do here at camp. One of the great things about camp is that we are always changing, but always remain true to our traditions and values. While your campers will always go swimming, sailing, and canoeing, they may do new activities that they didn’t do last year. This of course holds true for our night activities as well. While we have some classic night activities such as this week’s “Battle of Gettysburg,” there are many new and exciting activities as well. One of the new activities this week is “Napoleon Dynamite” night. In this brand new night activity, campers will get to play some games and complete some tasks inspired by movie.
One group of people that can never be thanked enough here at Camp Daggett are our kitchen staff. Lori, Dennis, Emily, Cassi, and Erica work hard day in and day out to make sure that our campers are well fed. Not only does our kitchen staff ensure that all meals are prepared on time and in correct proportions, they pay extra attention to make sure that all meals meet federal and state nutritional guidelines. Of course, meal times in general are a very special time at camp. From our family style eating, to songs we sing after meals, meal times at Daggett are probably unlike mealtimes anywhere else. It is truly special to see Camp’s mission statement of providing character building experiences extend to these times, as campers are encouraged to share and get to know one another during these times.
Mac Hall is always roaring after meals
Campers enjoy a snack and a few stories during Roman Night
Max and Christina take campers on a gondola ride
During free time, some campers chose to decorate our basketball court
It is crazy to think we are almost halfway through our camping season here at Daggett! Even though a lot of our staff have been here for 5 weeks, it is amazing to see how enthusiastic and energetic they are. That is especially helpful this week, as it is a little more overcast so far. This doesn’t stop the fun however, as campers can always be heard laughing and playing around. This was true since the very first night, as we got a lot of our campers (and staff) to show us their crazy sides during our Ugly Counselor night. Essentially a beauty pageant where cabins get to dress up their counselor sand give them…interesting…talents, all of our campers help to make sure their counselor was as interesting as possible.
Of course lots is going on during the day here as well. Between swimming, sailing, arts and crafts, and all of the other activities that are going on at camp, it is never hard for a camper to find something new to try. Trying new things is what camp really is about. Whether it is sailing for the first time, or making their very first clay pinch-pot, the most rewarding experiences for our staff come from times when campers take risks. We hope that all of our campers learn new things at camp, and take those lessons home to spread them to other children. This is especially true of our motto: “The Other Fellow First.” We challenge all of our campers and staff to put the other fellow first here at camp, and to keep doing it after they leave.
Speaking of helping others, we had some very special guest come in this week to talk to our 3 youngest cabins about service dogs. Deb and Erin (along with Seymour and Mork) from Paws with a Cause came to give a little presentation and demonstration to our campers about what service animals can do. Our campers had some amazing questions, and they definitely learned a lot about this great organization. For more information on Paws with a Cause, click here.
Campers help to build, and test out, their chairs
Our judges during our “Ugly Counselor night” From L to R: Sleeping Beauty, Kevin, R2D2, Elsa, The Mad Cow, and Richard Simmons
The Iroquois cabin helps their counselor show off her talent
Our campers taking a “selfie” with Mork and Seymour from Paws with a Cause
Well another week is coming to a close here at Camp Daggett. We have certainly had a blast this week, full of warm weather and many smiles. As we have talked about before, camp is about so much more than the activities we do. Camp is about forming new bonds, learning new skills, and enhancing one’s character. Camp Daggett has had a tradition since 1925 of providing quality character building experiences. There are so many opportunities for this to happen at camp it almost mind-boggling. From overcoming apprehension about sailing, to trying a new food for the first time, we all hope that our campers walk away having learned some very important things. More than anything, it is great to see campers come in and make new friends. Many of our campers come to camp with a buddy or two, but almost all leave with at least 10 new friends.
This week, we have also tried new things during our programming time. Wednesday saw our first ever “Daggett World Cup,” hosted by our Arts and Crafts Director Kelsa. A huge soccer fan and player herself, Kelsa imparted her love of the game on all our campers with a night devoted to teamwork and fun. Whether it was playing in the tournament, playing “American” football, or just maybe creating some pom-poms, all of our campers found something they enjoyed. Last night saw some new twists on an old favorite, Medieval Night. With jousting, ring toss, a jester and even a fortune teller, campers had a great time while they were whisked back in time.
With all of our fantastic night activities, it is easy to forget to share some of the amazing programming we have going on during the day. From before wake up all the way to bed time, our campers never have a dull moment. With sailing, swimming, canoeing, arts and craft, nature, and recreation all happening throughout the day, all campers inevitability find many things that they enjoy. Even cabin clean-up time and rest hour can be a great time for new experiences as campers learn some important life skills and form great bonds.
If you have already picked up a camper this summer, or if you will be tomorrow, please take a moment to complete our parent/camper evaluation. The comments and feedback that we receive really do help to shape our programming. Complete the survey by clicking here.
A Camper battles Weston in his suit of armour
Campers swimming during our weekly Lake Swim
A camper gets their fortune told during Medieval night
That’s right, you read that title correctly. Tonight our campers are in fact playing mini gold at camp. Of course, we can’t do anything simply, so our campers have actually designed their own holes using object found at camp. After designing their own hole, each cabin is getting a chance to play all the others around. Tonight is certainly an example of how we have some great night activities. Yesterday we had a water carnival (which felt great due to the heat) and Sunday night our cabins bounded while competing in our Daggett Auction. The day’s are also filled with lots of activities. Campers learn many different skills during the day, all while having fun and staying safe. A great example of this is Tippy Tuesday in canoeing. Campers (especially those going on water trips) need to learn what to do in the unlikely event that their canoe tips over. Our canoeing staff makes learning this fun, safe, and exciting.
We also got to see some amazing teamwork from our older cabins this week as they participated in our adventure education program. Beginning before diner, our oldest cabins get to do some team building exercises, go on our low ropes course, and finally climb high into the sky on our high ropes course. While it is exhilarating seeing a camper zoom down the zip-line or “spider-man” their way down from the catwalk, there is no better feeling than when a camper who is a little nervous is helped along by cheers and words of encouragement from their peers. After all, that is what camp is really all about: trying new things and learning the value in doing something good for someone else.
Some of our campers’ tie-dye
Concentration is required to navigate through our camper designed golf course
The Crow cabin showing off their wackiness for our Daggett Auction
Well, last night was an amazing night! Even though campers will get to be a home with their families for the Fourth of July, we figured we’d still have a bit of a festival. Complete with a dunk tank, campers spent the evening laughing and playing on our rec field with some classic American activities. Ring toss, popcorn, a duck pond, and of course face painting were just some of the many events that took place. After all was said and done, we lowered the flag and got changed into pajamas. It was not time for bed though, as campers returned to the fire circle they were first given glow sticks and sparklers. Even though we were a few days early, campers then got to see a spectacular fireworks display. A late evening for all, but one of the best of the week.
Camp Daggett is celebrating it’s 90th summer with campers this year. While there are many new buildings and pieces of equipment, the heart of our experience here never changes. The comes from the people who are here; from the staff to the campers everyone here has one goal: to have the best week ever. A group who has certainly had a great two weeks are our program and service aides. These 15 year old volunteers are too old to attend camp as campers, but volunteer their time to help with camp by doing many tasks. They certainly help camp out tremendously. Thank you Proggies and Servies!
Our annual 4th of July parade
The Potawatomi cabin gets wacky for Wacky Wednesday